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FAQ

River Terrace- Frequently Asked Questions

Project Background

Planning for River Terrace was completed in 2014 with the adoption of the River Terrace Community Plan. River Terrace is currently in the permitting and construction phase of development and will be in this phase for the foreseeable future. View recent land use applications to learn about the many neighborhoods and amenities that will be built here over the next several years. Full build out is expected to take roughly 20 years. Upon completion, River Terrace is expected to be home to around 6,500 new residents.


River Terrace Community Plan

The River Terrace Community Plan is a long-range planning document that will guide investment and development in River Terrace as it transitions from farmland to residential land over the next several decades. The plan was adopted by Tigard City Council in December 2014 after many years of technical analysis, community visioning and collaboration with local and regional partners.

“A community of great neighborhoods that includes housing, neighborhood-scale businesses, schools, parks and recreational opportunities.” – River Terrace Community Plan Vision

Primarily planned as a residential community, River Terrace will include a mix of housing types and amenities like parks, trails, and neighborhood shops. It will also include a new school. The city’s award-winning urban forestry code will help preserve existing tree canopy, and new stormwater management standards will protect streams and property and provide additional opportunities for recreation and education. The city also has plans for walkability that will define this neighborhood as a special place.

Currently, River Terrace lacks the necessary basic infrastructure, like roads and sewers, to develop into a complete and functional community. It also has many existing streams and natural resources that are in need of protection. The River Terrace Community Plan addresses these needs by providing a framework for bringing infrastructure to the area and recommending ways to avoid and/or minimize impacts to existing natural resources and neighborhoods where possible.


How to participate and get more information

1. Do I have a say in what gets built in River Terrace?
You can participate in the decision-making process on each development proposal by testifying at the public hearing on the proposal and/or by submitting written comments.  Written comments may be submitted during the posted comment period and/or before or during any public hearing. Scroll to the bottom of the city’s Public Hearings webpage to learn more about testifying at a public hearing before the Planning Commission or City Council.

Notice of a comment period or public hearing is automatically mailed out to properties within 500 feet of each development proposal. You may ask to receive notices on River Terrace development proposals regardless of where you live by contacting the Planner on Duty at 503-718-2421 or tigardplanneronduty@tigard-or.gov.

2. Who do I contact for more information?

Specific information on a development project:

General information:

3. Where can I find current information about River Terrace development?
Current information about active River Terrace development projects are posted on the Land Use Applications webpage.

4. Where can I find adopted plans, maps, and documents?
All the documents that will guide development in River Terrace over the next two decades are posted on the sidebar to the right and on the Project Documents webpage. You can also click below on a specific document. 


FAQ: River Terrace

1. Where is River Terrace?
River Terrace lies within the City of Tigard and the Portland Metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary. It is bounded by unincorporated Washington County to the east, west and south and by Beaverton’s South Cooper Mountain to the north.

River Terrace Map

2. What is River Terrace?
River Terrace consists of approximately 500 acres of land owned by multiple property owners. It was brought into the Urban Growth Boundary by Metro in 2002 and 2011 to help meet the region’s future housing needs.

River Terrace will transition from agricultural land to Tigard’s newest residential neighborhood over the next 20 years or so, with about 2,500 new homes and 6,500 new residents when complete. It will advance the city’s strategic vision of being the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest by providing new trails, sidewalks, and walking destinations such as parks and neighborhood businesses.

Between 2012 and 2014, the city completed land use planning for River Terrace and adopted several documents to responsibly guide investment and development in the area. Click here to view the adopted project documents, which are as follows:

  • River Terrace Community Plan. This document provides the long-term land use framework and community vision for this area.
  • River Terrace Funding Strategy. This document identifies short- and long-term strategies to fund needed infrastructure, such as roads and sewers.
  • River Terrace Infrastructure Master Plans. These documents, five in total, provide the technical analysis and policy considerations for serving this area with water, sewer, stormwater, parks and transportation. They identify the major facilities (e.g. sewer pump stations) and safety and capacity improvements (e.g. traffic signals and wider roads) that will be needed to support development.

River Terrace was thoughtfully planned with significant input from property owners, neighbors, developers, service providers and partner agencies. Development of this area will not prevent the city from funding or providing core services to the rest of the city. The cost of new infrastructure and services will primarily be paid for by private developers and future residents in River Terrace.

3. Why is the city working to develop River Terrace?
After River Terrace was brought into the Urban Growth Boundary, Washington County did some preliminary outreach, analysis, and land use planning for this area. This effort culminated in the creation and adoption of the West Bull Mountain Concept Plan in 2010. Amongst other things, the plan noted which service providers would best be able to extend urban services to the area, and Tigard became the most logical choice. River Terrace property owners voluntarily annexed to Tigard in 2011 and 2013, and Tigard completed the required community planning process in 2014. A similar process has occurred throughout Washington County. Beaverton took responsibility for the planning and development of South Cooper Mountain, Hillsboro did the same for South Hillsboro, and Washington County took responsibility for North Bethany and Bonny Slope West. Click here for the location of these five urban growth expansion areas.

In addition to accepting responsibility for providing its share of needed housing in the region, Tigard is working to develop River Terrace because it wants to grow in a fiscally responsible manner, better manage stormwater runoff from Bull Mountain, and provide new park and recreational facilities for all residents. Given that River Terrace is largely undeveloped, the city is in the unique position of being able to apply stormwater management best practices on a broad scale and acquire the amount of land needed to develop new community parks and trails.


FAQ: Development

1. What will be built?
Most of the land in River Terrace will be developed with a variety of housing, including apartments, duplexes, rowhouses and single-family detached homes. A small area will be developed with neighborhood-scale businesses. See the adopted zoning map for the location of the commercial area and the different types of residential districts. River Terrace is planned as a residential community because it was specifically brought into the Urban Growth Boundary by Metro to accommodate the long-range growth in population anticipated in the Portland Metro Region over the next several decades.

2. When will it be built?
City Council adopted new zoning districts in River Terrace in February 2015, which made residential and commercial development possible. However, just because development can happen, does not mean it will or has to happen. Some property owners in River Terrace may choose not to develop for many years, if ever, and that is their right. As of 2015, however, many property owners in River Terrace have either sold or are in the process of selling their land to developers. Many of these developers are in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals to build in River Terrace.

While the pace and timing of private development is outside the city’s control, it appears that development will start in the summer of 2015.  This would include general site grading and erosion control measures, installation of underground pipes for water and sewer, tree removal where approved, and construction staging. All needed infrastructure has to be installed before homes can be built, which means that the first homes in River Terrace will likely be built in 2016 at the earliest.

There are a few things that a developer may have to wait for the city to do before certain properties are allowed to develop, such as the construction of a new water reservoir or regional stormwater conveyance system to the Tualatin River. In these instances, the city may allow development to occur if the developer chooses to propose and fund a viable interim solution that does not negatively impact surrounding properties or the ability of the city or others to build the permanent recommended infrastructure.

Look near the top of this page to learn how to participate and get more information on development in River Terrace. Generally speaking, a developer must first obtain land use approvals before submitting permits to build infrastructure and homes. Learn more about the land use review process.

3. What infrastructure is needed?
Some infrastructure exists on the edges of River Terrace, in the form of roads and water and sewer lines, but most of River Terrace lacks the necessary infrastructure to support new homes. Maps 6–14 in the River Terrace Community Plan show the infrastructure improvements needed in River Terrace. Each new home that is built needs to have all necessary infrastructure in place to serve it before anyone can live there.

  • Water and Sewer. Private developers will need to extend water and sewer lines through their sites and connect them to the city’s existing water supply and sewer system. The city is responsible for the design and construction of a new water reservoir that is needed to serve a portion of River Terrace and existing Bull Mountain residents. Completion of this reservoir is planned by 2021. Clean Water Services, which provides sewer service in Washington County, is responsible for the design and construction of two new sewer pump stations that are needed to serve River Terrace and South Cooper Mountain. The northern pump station is planned for completion by 2016. The southern pump station is planned for construction soon thereafter.
  • Roads. Private developers will need to build new local roads to serve each new home and improve existing roads with sidewalks, bike lanes, signals, etc. to safely accommodate the travel needs of new residents. The widening of Roy Rogers Road through River Terrace will likely be undertaken as a Washington County project with intersection improvements built by private developers to serve their individual developments. River Terrace Boulevard, including the River Terrace Trail, will primarily be built by private development in sections over time.  Click here to view a conceptual design of the boulevard and the city’s landscape design guidelines for this signature street.
  • Parks and Trails. Some private developers will provide neighborhood parks and trails. Others will pay a fee and the city will use this money to acquire land for neighborhood parks and trails. The city is responsible for the land acquisition and development of community parks. It will use funds collected from development everywhere in the city for this purpose.
  • Stormwater. Private developers will be required to build and/or financially contribute toward the development of recommended regional stormwater facilities to effectively clean and manage the stormwater runoff from their sites. These facilities will be required to meet the city’s new stormwater standards and design guidelines, which require them to be community amenities in addition to being stormwater facilities.


FAQ: Development Impacts

1. How will River Terrace development affect existing neighbors and city residents?
On the one hand, changes in River Terrace 20 years from now will be huge. On the other hand, development of the 500 acres in River Terrace will happen over years, and in some places, over decades. The impacts and benefits of new development will barely be noticeable in the beginning. Most impacts will be experienced very locally, with the exception of construction on existing roads such as 150th Avenue, Bull Mountain Road and Roy Rogers Road.

Impacts during construction include increased noise and truck traffic next to existing residential neighborhoods; benefits include increased local employment opportunities. Impacts after construction include increased traffic from new residents and the loss of open fields; benefits include the construction of new public parks and trails, the addition of new housing options for families of all sizes, and the restoration of degraded natural resources.

2. What is the city doing to protect properties from erosion that are downstream from River Terrace?
The city prepared and adopted the River Terrace Stormwater Master Plan in 2014 for the purpose of protecting:

  • people and property from flood damage during large storm events
  • the health and function of downstream stream corridors for habitat and recreation
  • the quality of our community’s water supply

The plan’s stormwater management strategies are based upon the needs and characteristics of each drainage basin in River Terrace. These strategies make use of existing topography, natural systems, and stormwater facility design to effectively and efficiently ensure that: (1) all stormwater runoff from development is treated before it enters a stream, river, or wetland, and (2) the amount of stormwater runoff anticipated from development is appropriately managed to prevent stream erosion and property damage. The former objective is about protecting water quality, while the latter objective is about managing water quantity.

The plan’s stormwater management strategies are based upon Clean Water Services (CWS) Design and Construction Standards, the CWS Low Impact Development Approaches (LIDA) Handbook, and the city’s commitment to develop and adopt new design standards for River Terrace in collaboration with CWS. Click here to view the city’s stormwater management standards. The need for these new standards is based upon the following:

  • The city’s recent experiences dealing with channel stability problems elsewhere on Bull Mountain.
  • The presence of similar drainage channel conditions in River Terrace.
  • The city’s decision to develop a new continuous simulation model for this area.
  • Anticipated changes to CWS’s Design and Construction Standards to address pending requirements under their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
  • The community’s desire to preserve and protect existing natural resources in the River Terrace and Bull Mountain area.

In addition to developing and adopting new stormwater management standards, the city also obtained permission from various owners with streams on their properties downstream from River Terrace to document existing stream conditions to better evaluate the effectiveness of River Terrace’s stormwater management facilities in the future. If you are an owner with a stream on your property and would like more information on the city’s efforts to protect streams in this area, please contact Lori Faha at 503-718-2759 or lorif@tigard-or.gov.


FAQ: Funding

Who will pay for development in River Terrace?
River Terrace will not negatively impact the city’s ability to fund or provide core infrastructure services to the rest of the city. The cost of new infrastructure and services will primarily be paid for by private developers and future residents in River Terrace.

Clean Water Services will build the two sewer pump stations needed to serve the area, Washington County will complete the widening of Roy Rogers Road, and the City of Tigard will construct a new water reservoir, a new regional stormwater conveyance system to the Tualatin River, and two new community parks. The city may also complete small segments of roads or pipes as needed to fill gaps in the system.

Most of this infrastructure will be paid for by private developers through the collection of system development charges (SDCs). SDCs are a one-time fee paid by developers at the time of development. These fees are used to fund public projects that expand or improve the city’s sewer, water, stormwater, parks and transportation infrastructure. Developers in River Terrace will likely only pay a portion of these fees, if any, since they will get “credits” against these fees for building the needed infrastructure instead, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • New roads throughout River Terrace
  • Improvement of existing roads on the edges of River Terrace
  • New stormwater management facilities of various sizes
  • New water transmission lines connecting to two existing water pressure zones
  • New sewer trunk lines connecting to existing trunk lines in Scholls Ferry Road and Beef Bend Road
  • New neighborhood parks and trails

Future River Terrace residents will also directly pay for some of the cost of developing River Terrace in the form of ratepayer fees that will be included on their monthly utility bill. Lastly, existing development and existing city residents will pay some of the cost of developing River Terrace. Large projects that benefit a larger area, such as the new water reservoir that is needed on Bull Mountain, will be paid for from SDCs or other fees collected from development and residents throughout the city.


FAQ: Services and Amenities

1. What school districts will serve this area?
Most of River Terrace will be served by the Tigard-Tualatin School District. In anticipation of development in this area, the Tigard-Tualatin School District purchased a 20-acre site in the southern part of River Terrace for a future K-6 or K-8 school. Go to the school district’s website and search for their current boundary map for the general location of the future school site in River Terrace and the school district’s boundary.

Some of River Terrace will be served by the Beaverton School District. In anticipation of development in River Terrace and South Cooper Mountain, which is to the north of River Terrace in Beaverton, the Beaverton School District purchased a 48-acre site on the northwest corner of 175th Ave/Roy Rogers Road and Scholls Ferry Road for a future high school. Go to the school district’s website for a map of their boundary and information on their high school development plans and existing schools that will serve River Terrace.

2. Will I be able to use River Terrace parks and trails?
Yes. The city is working to ensure that all local parks built by developers in River Terrace will be dedicated to the public. Naturally, any parks built by the city in River Terrace will be public. The same holds true for any trails built by developers or the city. The River Terrace Park System Master Plan includes conceptual maps of the parks and trails envisioned in River Terrace.


Contact
Susan P. Shanks, Project Manager
503-718-2454 | Email

About River Terrace

River Terrace is a 500-acre area on the city’s westernmost edge. The area was added to the Metro Urban Growth Boundary to accommodate future housing needs in the region, and is currently in the process of being developed. More…

River Terrace plat map